Advertisement

Rights of Persons with Disability Not to Be Criminalised

  • Eileen Baldry
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Abstract

Persons with mental and cognitive disabilities from disadvantaged backgrounds are over-represented amongst prison populations across ‘Western’ countries. There is systematic criminalisation of disadvantaged and racialised persons with disability. This chapter considers how persons with disability are criminalised in the community as well as whilst incarcerated in Australia. Drawing upon various relevant rights instruments, especially the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the chapter examines the accessibility of those with disabilities to their rights to fair and just processes, and appropriate disability services. It critically examines the tendency to focus on individual rights to the detriment of systemically embedded rights. Together with the development of a disability justice strategy in some Australian jurisdictions, a ‘justice disability rights framework’ founded in social justice is proposed.

Keywords

Criminalisation Mental and cognitive disabilities Imprisonment Disability rights 

References

  1. Arstein-Kerslake, A., Gooding, P., Andrews, L., & McSherry, B. (2017). Human rights and unfitness to plead: The demands of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Human Rights Law Review, 17(3), 399–419.Google Scholar
  2. Ashford, B., & Morgan, R. (2004). Criminalising looked-after children. Criminal Justice Matters, 57(1), 8–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Attorney-General’s Department, South Australia. (2014). Disability Justice Plan 2014–2017. [Online]. Available https://www.agd.sa.gov.au/projects-and-consultations/disability-justice-plan. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  4. Australian Human Rights Commission. (2014). Equal Before the Law: Towards Disability Justice Strategies. [Online]. Available https://www.humanrights.gov.au/equal-law-towards-disability-justice-strategies. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2015). The Health of Australia’s Prisoners 2015. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.Google Scholar
  6. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2016). Young People in Child Protection and Under Youth Justice Supervision 2013–2014. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.Google Scholar
  7. Baldry, E. (2014). Disability at the margins: Limits of the law. Griffith Law Review, 23(3), 370–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baldry, E., & Dowse, L. (2013). Compounding mental and cognitive disability and disadvantage: Police as care managers. In D. Chappell (Ed.), Policing the Mentally Ill: International Perspectives (pp. 219–234). Boca Raton: CRC Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Baldry, E., McCausland, R., Dowse, L., & McEntyre, E. (2015). A Predictable and Preventable Path: Aboriginal People with Mental and Cognitive Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System. [Online]. Available https://www.mhdcd.unsw.edu.au/a-predictable-and-preventable-path-iamhdcd-report.html. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  10. Bartlett, P. (2012). The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and mental health law. Modern Law Review, 75(5), 752–778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bradley, K. (Lord). (2009). The Bradley Report: Lord Bradley’s Review of People with Mental Health Problems or Learning Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System. London: Department of Health.Google Scholar
  12. Bronson, J., Maruschak, L. M., & Berzofsky, M. (2015). Disabilities Among Prison and Jail Inmates, 2011–2012. [Online]. Available https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5500. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  13. Brown, D. (2009). Searching for a social democratic narrative in criminal justice. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 20(3), 453–456.Google Scholar
  14. Brown, D. (2013). Criminalisation and normative theory. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 25(2), 605–625.Google Scholar
  15. Burdekin, B. (1993). Report of the National Inquiry into the Human Rights of People with Mental Illness (Burdekin Report). Canberra: Australian Government Printer.Google Scholar
  16. Calhoun, C. (Ed.). (2002). Dictionary of the Social Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health [CAMH]. (2013). Mental Health and Criminal Justice Policy Framework. Toronto: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.Google Scholar
  18. Chan, J., French, P., Hudson, C., & Webber, L. (2012). Applying the CRPD to safeguard the rights of people with a disability in contact with the criminal justice system. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 19(4), 558–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Clinks. (2017). Multiple and Complex Needs. Available http://www.clinks.org/criminal-justice/multiple-and-complex-needs. Accessed August 31, 2017.
  20. Coyle, A. (2002). A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management: Handbook for Prison Staff. London: International Centre for Prison Studies.Google Scholar
  21. Draine, J., Salzer, M. S., Culhane, D. P., & Hadley, T. R. (2002). Role of social disadvantage in crime, joblessness, and homelessness among persons with serious mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 53(5), 565–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Equality and Human Rights Commission. (2016). Strategic Plan 2016–2019. [Online]. Available https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publication-download/strategic-plan-2016-19. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  23. Findlay, M. (2008). Governing Through Globalised Crime: Futures for International Criminal Justice. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
  24. Fitzpatrick, C., & Williams, P. (2017). The neglected needs of care leavers in the criminal justice system: Practitioners’ perspectives and the persistence of problem (corporate) parenting. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 17(2), 175–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Giraud-Saunders, A. (2013). Making the difference: The role of adult social care services in supporting vulnerable offenders (Briefing Paper). London: Prison Reform Trust.Google Scholar
  26. Gooding, P., Mercer, S., Baldry, E., & Arstein-Kerslake, A. (2016). Unfitness to stand trial: The indefinite detention of persons with cognitive disabilities in Australia and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Courts of Conscience, 10, 6.Google Scholar
  27. Gooding, P., Arstein-Kerslake, A., Andrews, L., & McSherry, B. (2017). Unfitness to stand trial and the indefinite detention of persons with cognitive disabilities in Australia: Human rights challenges and proposals for change. Melbourne University Law Review, 40(3), 816–866.Google Scholar
  28. Hayden, C. (2010). Offending behaviour in care: Is children’s residential care a “criminogenic” environment? Child and Family Social Work, 15(4), 461–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation. (2014). A Joint Inspection of the Treatment of Offenders with Learning Disabilities Within the Criminal Justice System—Phase 1 from Arrest to Sentence. London: Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services [HMICFRS].Google Scholar
  30. Herrera, L. M. (2007). Equity, equality and equivalence. Revista Española de Educación Comparada, 13, 319–340.Google Scholar
  31. Hogg, R. (1983). Perspectives on the criminal justice system. In M. Findlay, S. Egger, & J. Sutton (Eds.), Issues in Criminal Justice Administration (pp. 3–19). Sydney: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  32. Howard League for Penal Reform. (2016). Criminal Care: Children’s Homes and Criminalising Children. London: Howard League for Penal Reform.Google Scholar
  33. Howard League for Penal Reform. (2017). Prisons and Criminal Justice, Briefings and Submissions. [Online]. Available http://howardleague.org/our-expertise/briefings-and-submissions/. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  34. Indig, D., Gear, C., & Wilhelm, K. (2016). Co-morbid Substance Abuse Disorders and Mental Health Disorders Among New Zealand Prisoners. Wellington: New Zealand Department of Corrections.Google Scholar
  35. Indig, D., Topp, L., Ross, B., Mamoon, H., Border, B., Kumar, S., et al. (2010). 2009 NSW Inmate Health Survey: Key Findings Report. Sydney: Justice Health.Google Scholar
  36. Indig, D., Vecchiato, C., Haysom, L., Beilby, R., Carter, J., Champion, U., et al. (2011). 2009 NSW Young People in Custody Health Survey: Full Report. Sydney: Justice Health and Juvenile Justice.Google Scholar
  37. Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network. (2016). 2015/2016 Year in Review. Sydney: NSW Ministry of Health.Google Scholar
  38. KPMG. (2007). Evaluation of Multiple and Complex Needs Initiative (Final Report). Melbourne: Government of Victoria, Department of Human Services.Google Scholar
  39. Lacey, N. (2009). Historicising criminalisation: Conceptual and empirical issues. Modern Law Review, 72(6), 936–960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lamb, H. R., & Weinberger, L. E. (1998). Persons with severe mental illness in jails and prisons: A review. Psychiatric Services, 49(4), 483–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lamb, H. R., & Weinberger, L. E. (2014). Decarceration of US jails and prisons: Where will persons with serious mental illness go? Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 42(4), 489–494.Google Scholar
  42. Langberg, J. B., & Fedders, B. A. (2013). How juvenile defenders can help dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline: A primer on educational advocacy and incorporating clients’ education histories and records into delinquency representation. Journal of Law and Education, 42(4), 653–690.Google Scholar
  43. McCausland, R., & Baldry, E. (2017). “I feel like I failed him by ringing the police”: Criminalising disability in Australia. Punishment & Society, 19(3), 290–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McFarlane, K. (2010). From care to custody: Young women in out-of-home care in the criminal justice system. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 22(2), 345–353.Google Scholar
  45. McSherry, B. (2014). Managing Fear: The Law and Ethics of Preventive Detention and Risk Assessment. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. New South Wales Law Reform Commission. (2012). People with Cognitive and Mental Health Impairments in the Criminal Justice System: Diversion (Report 135). Sydney: New South Wales Law Reform Commission.Google Scholar
  47. New South Wales Law Reform Commission. (2013). People with Cognitive and Mental Health Impairments in the Criminal Justice System: Criminal Responsibility and Consequences (Report 138). Sydney: New South Wales Law Reform Commission.Google Scholar
  48. Norrie, A. (1996). The limits of justice: Finding fault in the criminal law. Modern Law Review, 59(4), 540–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Norrie, A. (2014). Crime, Reason and History: A Critical Introduction to Criminal Law (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nowak, M. (2008). Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Manfred Nowak. A/63/175. New York: United Nations General Assembly.Google Scholar
  51. Ollove, M. (2017, April 7). Getting the mentally ill out of jails. Stateline. [Online]. Available http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2017/04/07/getting-the-mentally-ill-out-of-jails. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  52. Prison Reform Trust. (2016). No One Knows. [Online]. Available http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/ProjectsResearch/Learningdisabilitiesanddifficulties. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  53. Revolving Doors Agency. (2016). Criminal Justice and Policing. [Online]. Available http://www.revolving-doors.org.uk/changing-policy/changing-policy. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  54. Riches, V. C., Parmenter, T. R., Wiese, M., & Stancliffe, R. J. (2006). Intellectual disability and mental illness in the NSW criminal justice system. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 29, 386–396.Google Scholar
  55. Robinson, N., & Branley, A. (2016, August 3). Northern Territory prison’s treatment of intellectually disabled Aboriginal man referred to UN. ABC News. [Online]. Available http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-03/unhrc-asked-to-probe-nt-man-restraint/7683346. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  56. Royal Commission into New South Wales Prisons & Nagle, J. (1978). Report of the Royal Commission into New South Wales Prisons. Sydney: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  57. Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, White, M., & Gooda, M. (2017). Report of the Royal Commission and Board of Inquiry into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. Darwin: Commonwealth Government. [Online]. Available https://childdetentionnt.royalcommission.gov.au/Pages/Report.aspx. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  58. Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs. (2015). Report on Violence, Abuse and Neglect Against People with Disability in Institutional and Residential Settings, Including the Gender and Age Related Dimensions, and the Particular Situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with Disability, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse People with Disability. Canberra: Parliament of Australia.Google Scholar
  59. Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs. (2016). Indefinite Detention of People with Cognitive and Psychiatric Impairment in Australia. Canberra: Parliament of Australia.Google Scholar
  60. Shakespeare, T. (1994). Cultural representation of disabled people: Dustbins for disavowal? Disability and Society, 9(3), 283–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sotiri, M., McGee, P., & Baldry, E. for The National Justice Chief Executive Officers Working Group. (2012). No End in Sight: The Imprisonment and Indefinite Detention of Indigenous People with a Cognitive Impairment. Sydney: Aboriginal Disability Justice Campaign. [Online]. Available https://www.pwd.org.au/documents/pubs/adjc/NoEndinSight.pdf. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  62. Stanley, E. (2016). From care to custody: Trajectories of children in post-war New Zealand. Youth Justice, 17(1), 57–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Steinberg, D., Mills, D., & Romano, M. (2015). When Did Prisons Become Acceptable Mental Healthcare Facilities? [Online]. Available https://law.stanford.edu/publications/when-did-prisons-become-acceptable-mental-healthcare-facilities-2/. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  64. Teplin, L. A. (1984). Criminalizing mental disorder: The comparative arrest rate of the mentally ill. American Psychologist, 39(7), 794–803.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. UN Committee on the Rights of Person with Disabilities [UNCRPD]. (Various). [Online]. Available http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/TBSearch.aspx?Lang=en&TreatyID=4&DocTypeID=27. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  66. UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [UNCRPD]. (2006). Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). A/RES/61/106. Adopted December 13, 2006.Google Scholar
  67. UN Committee on the Rights of Person with Disabilities [UNCRPD]. (2013). Concluding Observations on the Initial Report of Australia, Adopted by the Committee at Its Tenth Session (2–13 September 2013). CRPD/C/AUS/CO/1. [Online]. Available http://undocs.org/CRPD/C/AUS/CO/1. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  68. UN Committee on the Rights of Person with Disabilities [UNCRPD]. (2015). Report of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Supplement No. 55. A/70/55. [Online]. Available http://undocs.org/A/70/55. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  69. UN Committee on the Rights of Person with Disabilities [UNCRPD]. (2016). Views Adopted by the Committee Under Article 5 of the Optional Protocol, Concerning Communication No. 7/2012. CRPD/C/16/D/7/2012. [Online]. Available http://undocs.org/en/CRPD/C/16/D/7/2012. Accessed February 5, 2018.
  70. Vanderpoll, T., & Howard, D. (2011). Investigation into Hearing Impairment Among Indigenous Prisoners Within the Northern Territory Correctional Services. Darwin: Northern Territory Correctional Services.Google Scholar
  71. Victorian Law Reform Commission. (2013). Review of the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to Be Tried) Act 1997: Consultation Paper. Melbourne: Victorian Law Reform Commission.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations